Things are heating up across the country and especially here in Florida! Heat awareness for your dog is SUPER important in the coming months. It could be the difference between life and death! Here are a few quick tips you need to know to be an awesome dog parent and take the best care of that furry pal of yours when the temps are soaring.
- NEVER leave your dog in the car! Nope, not in the shade or with the windows cracked either. The inside temperature of your car can quickly reach 120 degrees and rapidly cause heat stroke (or worse!!) in dogs.
- Know the signs of HEAT STROKE – heavy panting and restlessness, not being able to sit or lie down. Brick red gums and fast pulse are also something to recognize.
- If you suspect heat stroke call your vet right away. They may suggest cooling the dog with some water, but never immerse in an ice bath because that could be too stressful for the system.
- Carefully monitor your dog during the coming months while out walking, running, biking or any other outdoor activities. Take a lot of shady breaks and give frequent water.
Along with being aware of signs of heat exhaustion during the summer day, protecting your pet’s skin is also important. That’s right — furry family members can also suffer from the damaging effects of the sun’s powerful rays.
If you’re planning beach trips and outdoor barbecues with your dog this summer, make sure to protect him from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Just like humans, canines are susceptible to painful burns and potential skin cancer. Keep your dog safe with these tips.
Which Dog Breeds Can Get Sunburned?
Some pooches are more susceptible to getting burned by the sun, while others have natural protection. White dogs, for instance, tend to have fair skin underneath all that fur—similar to people with blonde hair—and a greater potential for sun damage. Pups with naturally thin hair, and especially the hairless breeds including the Chinese Crested and the Mexican Hairless, are also at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. All canines, regardless of the thickness of their coats, have vulnerable areas of the body with less fur or none at all. The belly is often covered with blonde hair, making it a target; the ears have delicate skin; and even a dog’s nose can become dried out and baked. Before taking your dog into the sun for any extended period, look him over to identify danger spots for sunburn.
Signs of Dog Sunburn
Just like people who get too much sun, dogs also get red skin that is tender to the touch. The most susceptible areas—the nose, ears and tummy—are likely to show overexposure before fur-covered areas. Look for dry, cracked skin and curling at the edges of his ears. Other signs of doggy sunburn are constant scratching in tender places accompanied by a whimper, and shrinking away when you try to pet him. If his sunburn is severe, your pooch may even get a slight fever.
Block the Rays
Sunblock for your dog? Yes, but only certain kinds to keep the inevitable licking from harming him. Only one product, Epi-Pet Sun Protector, has been approved by the FDA.
Now that you’re armed with a few precautions and signs to look for, get out there, enjoy summer and be HEAT SAFE!